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National Legal Center for Immigrants

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

B. STRUCTURE Section II of this memorandum introduces excerpts from international law and commentary directly or indirectly applicable to the provision of free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children in civil proceedings. This serves as background to the discussion in Section III on how the identified law and commentary could be utilized to support attempts to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating immigration proceedings in the United States.  

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

C. DEFINITIONS  For the purpose of this memorandum, the following definitions apply:  §  Child: Every human being below the age of 18 years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.[1] §  Unaccompanied children: Children (as defined above) who have been separated from both parents and other relatives and are not being cared for by an adult who, by law or custom, is responsible for doing so.[2]

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

A. PURPOSE This memorandum highlights international human rights law and commentary as well as potential arguments based on this law that could be utilized by U.S.-based advocates to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating domestic immigration proceedings. Where relevant, the memorandum also references regional human rights law and national policies and identifies further avenues of research for advocates.

An International Human Right to Free Legal Counsel for Unaccompanied and Separated Children in U.S. Immigration Proceedings

I.  Introduction A.  Purpose This memorandum highlights international human rights law and commentary as well as potential arguments based on this law that could be utilized by U.S.-based advocates to promote a right to free legal counsel for unaccompanied and separated children navigating domestic immigration proceedings. Where relevant, the memorandum also references regional human rights law and national policies and identifies further avenues of research for advocates.

Using International Law in U.S. Immigration Cases

The following resources were created as part of a partnership between CLINIC and the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University to encourage the use of international law arguments in U.S. immigration cases:

Individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITIN): Practical Guidelines for Individuals

What is an ITIN? ITIN stands for Individual Tax Identification Number. It is a nine-digit number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to individuals who do not qualify for a Social Security Number (SSN). The ITIN always begins with the number 9 and has a 7 or 8 in the fourth digit. For example: 9XX-7X-XXXX. An ITIN permits individuals without a valid Social Security Number (SSN) to:

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